DVD REVIEW: ACCEPT – “Restless And Live”
I LOVE Accept. There are bands that will always put a smile on your face and a strut in your step; for me, Accept is one of the favorites that really get me going. I listen to them whenever I need a little bit of extra stoke in my life. When I got the chance to review their upcoming DVD, ‘Restless and Live’, it was as if Christmas had come early! I made a cup of tea, sat myself down and turned the sound up loud to feel the grit of the live Accept experience.
Restless and Live brings us the footage from 2015’s Bang Your Head!!! Festival in Balingen, Germany. There’s something really special about European festivals; hanging out with tens of thousands of your new best friends, normally in a waterlogged paddock, waiting for your favourite bands to start – there’s really nothing else like it. There’s an indescribable connection at these gatherings, a camaraderie that builds new lifelong friendships between strangers and brings joy to everyone attending. I was lucky to see Accept at a different festival in 2015, Slovenia’s Metal Days, and having epic festival footage like this burning hot in my hand was really, really exciting for me.
The set begins with “Stampede” from the band’s 2014 ‘Blind Rage’ album. The intro and first few riffs sound out into the night and already I feel like I’m part of the audience. Overall, the footage captures the energy of festival, as the band sets the tempo for the next 100-odd minutes. Audio wise, the sound quality is clean and clear. Visually, the cameras capture the band and the stage-setting well – the lighting captured in the footage showcases a colourful set, with the Blind Rage album cover art suspended behind Christopher Williams‘ drum kit.
We get a few songs in and “London Leather boys” is up. This song, from the iconic ‘Balls to the Wall’ is legendary and I resist the urge to jump on the couch and start head banging. The camera zooms in on one guy wearing a Mohawk with his eyes closed, enjoying the moment. I smiled as I saw this, thinking this is exactly how I would have looked if I was there – minus the mohawk.
Frontman Mark Tornillo welcomes the crowd to the show and introduces some more songs from Blind Rage. A hat tip to the legends of metal in “Dying Breed” is next on the list, followed by “The Final Journey” – complete with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann‘s classical solo, which incorporates composer Edvard Grieg’s “Morning Mood” from Grieg’s opera ‘Peer Gynt 23’ towards the end of the song. While this is on the studio album and not a surprise to see, hearing and seeing it live invokes a new energy from the crowd as Hoffmann grins his way through the solo.
Heading back in time, the boys bring the epic “Losers and Winners” to the crowd at Bang Your Head!!!. It’s one of my favourite songs off ‘Balls to the Wall’, and just sounds amazing live. Half way through “No Shelter”, Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes take to the front of the stage and have an awesome duel. You can tell by the smiles on Hoffmann and Baltes’ faces that they are having a REALLY good time. A few more songs in and “Dark Side of my Heart” appears on the set list. It is a feature for me on Blind Rage, with its snappy riffs and rhythm. Watching the band perform this live is a real treat.
I could go on about the rest of the set but don’t want to spoil the surprise. What I can say is the rest of the DVD is complete with Accept’s legendary live experience; crowd sing-along’s, fist pumps, synchronized guitar moves, and some all time favourite songs that make for a great show. Everything about the performance is excellent. It has a good balance of old and new material and the band are obviously enjoying themselves in front of the crowd. I think for those who were in the audience at Bang Your Head, this will be a great way to relive the joy of the festival experience. For me, watching Restless and Live takes me back to one of the best times of my life, when I was watching Accept on stage as the sun went down over the Slovenian mountainside in 2015.
Restless and Live is available as a DVD and CD package, and will be released on January 13th, 2017. Check out www.acceptworldwide.com for more information.